July 23, 2012 By: Octavio Ramos
On Saturday, July 22 of 2012, Albuquerque’s Music Go Round
closed early. You see, there was a legend in the house. This legend was
about to give a drum clinic for the local metalheads of Albuquerque and
all surrounding points in New Mexico and perhaps beyond.
Vinny Appice may be a legend, as the man has played drums for the mighty Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell,
but for everyone at Music Go Round this Saturday, he was a
down-to-earth percussionist who enjoyed pressing flesh with his fans.
For two hours Vinny discussed his basic drumming approach, providing
some tips about improving the percussive sound to local drummers. He
also answered as many questions as possible, questions that covered his
years with Black Sabbath and with Ronnie James Dio, as well as the similarities and differences he shares with his older brother, Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, and Beck, Bogert & Appice).
Some of his stories were poignant, whereas others were hilarious. He
was particularly kind to the younger people in attendance, particularly
the children, with whom he freely shared his time.
Being a drum clinic, Vinny let loose on the skins various times,
playing classics such as “The Last in Line” and “We Rock,” both from Dio
CDs. He also demonstrated some basic fills, from which he then
constructed a killer solo for the end of his performance with the song
“We Rock.” During the question-and-answer sessions, Vinny gave out drum
sticks, t-shirts, and hats to those who had stepped up and asked.
Once the clinic was over, Vinny spent his remaining time talking with
fans, signing autographs, and posing for photos. Once again, Vinny
proved a class act, not leaving the store until every single fan in
attendance had met with him. He was very kind and sincere to the
children, asking questions and making them feel special.
As may astonish those outside the metal genre, most of the metal fans
in attendance were also very kind and courteous to each other. The
sense of camaraderie among the fans was palpable, feeding off the vibe
given off by Vinny Appice.
The death of legend Ronnie James Dio ended the glory of Heaven and Hell
(okay Black Sabbath deux) and Dio, but Vinny continues to perform. He
is currently participating in “Drum Wars” shows with his brother
Carmine, and he has also assembled a new band, titled Kill Devil Hill, featuring Pantera/Down bassist Rex Brown.